Oliver's Cardboard Box Train Party

Providence, Rhode Island

While a train party may be just about the least original third-birthday theme out there, it was specifically and often requested in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the big event so what's a mom to do, but oblige.

In brainstorming what activities could possibly keep a slew of sugared-up pre-schoolers occupied and out of trouble for 3 hours, I figured they'd need something they could band together and destroy. Building a train “fort” from repurposed cardboard boxes and duct tape for the kids to decorate was ridiculously fun, but even better was watching the little artists tear it to pieces. Rolls of tickets were a huge hit for adding to the mess.

Most of the cardboard and paper for the decorations was reused from what we already had around the house and the vinyl letters and numbers are the basics available from Staples. Despite all the work that went into the party and decorations, there was nothing better than seeing the disastrous proof of toddlers having a great time.

Images: Sarah Rainwater